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Are We On The Verge Of A Cashless Society?

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Pillar of the Community
United States
1385 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2018  8:33 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add jpsned to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Just a few years ago this subject was brought up, and I scoffed. Money will always be with us.

But lately I see more signs of where we're headed. Businesses are actually making it harder to pay for services in cash--they prefer you pay with a card or by cellphone. Some places I go only have one register that has cash. McDonald's has done away with all but one cash register; now you pay via card or direct digital through a touch-screen kiosk. And of course with all the online shopping, that automatically replaces whatever cash transactions you might have made with digital.

Where I live they've eliminated toll booths on the highways and now a camera takes a photo of your license plate and they send you a bill vi email. It's become much easier just to have EZ-Pass, which of course is an electronic payment already.

It also seems that things have picked up just within the last month or so--at least where I live--and the momentum is gathering.

What do you see, and how do you think this bodes for coins and money in general?
Valued Member
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United States
438 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2018  8:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mtuma3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Plastic has certainly taken off in the last decade, along with phone Apps. Even vending machines are starting to take plastic and/or scans from your phone.
But when I go into a mini-mart I would say 3 out of every 4 pay with cash. On the other hand, you go into Starbucks and almost everyone pays with their phones.
When I go to a restaurant, I usually pay with plastic, but leave the tip in cash, to make sure the server and not the boss gets the tip.
I'm guessing drug dealers don't take plastic yet.
Time will tell I guess.
ANA Member
Official Snowbird!
Illinois in Summer, Somewhere warm in Winter
New Member
United States
24 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2018  9:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Cheyenne to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's moving in that direction. I'm "old school", and still usually pay with cash unless it's an over $100-150 purchase.

Our local hospital won't let you pay co-pays with cash. Insane, IMO. I hate using a card for a $15 purchase. I shook my head at that one.
Valued Member
United States
164 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2018  9:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jstav to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I believe so, that is why I've started to really collect for the first time in my life.
Valued Member
United States
232 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2018  9:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mikem007 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Most Casinos here in the Northeast U.S. are coin-less. When you win money now, it spits out a barcoded paper ticket. 30 years ago most of my silver halves came out of casinos. It was easy picking as when you put the half into the slot machine, if it was silver it would dump right out into the bottom tray.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1609 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2018  9:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add RoyCoinBoy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I say it's almost without a doubt. Coins will be the first to go, simply because they weigh too much for their worth. I think currency will stick around for quite a while, as long as we switch to polymer notes soon.
Edited by RoyCoinBoy
06/25/2018 9:42 pm
Valued Member
206 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2018  10:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add OttawaVoyageur to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

''Neither location takes cash, and signs on both the outside and inside doors give customers advance warning that cash is not king.''

Bedrock of the Community
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United States
26087 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2018  11:03 pm  Show Profile   Check Errers and Varietys's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Errers and Varietys to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm pretty "old school" when it comes to that. I usually try to use cash if I have it. If not, I use my debit card. But, I don't want cash or change to be eliminated, since I still use it quite a bit. I don't want coins to go away, because I'm a coin collector that collects Wheat cents, Canadian cents, error and variety coins. I can tell you right now that I'm upset about this. Thinking about this makes me want to puke, since this is my favorite hobby. I hope they don't do away with cash and coins completely.
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Bedrock of the Community
United States
19186 Posts
 Posted 06/26/2018  09:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not just yet but really soon all coins will be finished. Plastic is slowly taking over. I've noticed at stores so few people pay with cash. And now gas stations have that just pay at the pump with plastic. Coins are just about at the end.
just carl
Valued Member
United States
105 Posts
 Posted 06/26/2018  10:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pocketchange2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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16676 Posts
 Posted 06/26/2018  10:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am going to die !! because
I have never had a credit card in my life.
I also have never been in debt in my life.
I need a credit rating like I need a hole in the head.

I have never personally made an electronic payment, but I use the banks' professionally maintained security systems instead. Never use my 'phone or computer in this regard.

I try to keep my electronic identity as small and inconspicuous as possible - there is less chance of it being stolen.

At least, I have never been scammed.
Is it better to have never been scammed than dead?
It looks as if I will never find out.
Edited by sel_69l
06/27/2018 09:17 am
Valued Member
United States
311 Posts
 Posted 06/26/2018  10:40 am  Show Profile   Check einstem's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add einstem to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I do think that we will go cashless at some point.. the question isn't if, but when....

None of my kids use Cash at all.. they do everything on debit cards and pay eachother using apps like "Venmo". And they certainly don't even touch change unless they need to pay a parking meter, and even many of those can be paid for via a kiosk down the street or with an app...

And remember, you don't need to use a credit card to go cashless.. you can just use a Debit card that is linked to your checking account.. exactly the same as writing a check except that there is no 'float'.. but the 'float' is actually going away because many establishments now just "scan the bank codes" on checks and process them exactly like a debit card transaction.. Many supermarkets now do this, and it ensures there is "money in the account" and it debits the account automatically.. they even hand the checks back to the people afterwards and tell them they can rip them up...

Personally, I now have about 90% of my "bills" paid via EFT or through my Quicken BillPay. the number of checks I write a month is probably down to single digits from dozens a month a few decades back...

I still use cash myself for my "weekly spending money", but almost anyone can take a debit or credit card these days due to all the apps. that connect card readers to smartphones..

I recently went to a huge flea market, and almost all had signs that said that they accepted credit or debit cards, and had those little "readers" attached to their smartphones to process payments... pretty amazing shift in just the past decade..

Some countries such as Canada, UK, France, and Sweden are pretty close to being cashless.. a huge percent of their transactions are now cashless.. and growing at a rapid pace..

Not sure what this means for coin collecting.. could actually be a "good thing" due to scarcity, or could reduce interest in collecting and drive down prices due to lack of interest..

Only time will tell for sure..

My 2 small cents..



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United States
84365 Posts
 Posted 06/26/2018  11:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This subject does come up a lot and I stand by what I have said in the past. We will eventually be cashless.

Everywhere I go I can present a card or my phone to make a payment so I actually have to force myself to use cash just to get change. Even the babysitter takes PayPal.

I will predict that the grandchildren of millennials will be the last generation to see cash used in commerce. Yes, I think cash will hold out that long (if only on the fringes). I also think their children will probably know about cash from coin collectors. Yes, our kind will survive.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1886 Posts
 Posted 06/26/2018  11:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nfine to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm one of the last baby boomers and my grandchildren have no idea what cash or change is. The move to a cashless society is happening a lost faster than many think.
Valued Member
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United States
119 Posts
 Posted 06/26/2018  11:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add malgal to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, it is moving in that direction and I think it will happen sooner than later. My two cents worth.
Valued Member
United States
232 Posts
 Posted 06/26/2018  9:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mikem007 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Further evidence for you all in the push towards cashless society, even writing checks has been on a noticeable decline for about a dozen years now. At one point in history, writing checks was going to replace cash but that never happened. I'm towards the end of my career in banking as an IT Systems Analyst / BA, and have analyzed the costs of processing checks versus ACH transactions -- it is significantly cheaper to process ACH transactions which means even checks are well on their way to going away. About the only good news on this "going digital" front is that as long as the credit card processing fees for businesses remain fairly high, businesses feel the pain. My opinion is that until these processing fees drop significantly, cash isn't going away anytime soon.

Banks don't do the processing of credit card transactions, that is a third party vendor and I don't see any trends in the banks taking over that part of the transaction, so, those transactions fees will remain high for years and years.

What does scare me a little is that in all the years I've been on the IT side of bank applications, we rarely discuss cash or build systems to process cash. That is considered a hands-on local bank branch kind of activity which at the time of customer-to-teller handover of cash, it all becomes a digital number in the system and the cash/coin ultimately goes into the vault.
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